Thursday, October 25, 2012

Are you outraged?

THIS story about a group of high school football players starting a "fantasy slut league" has me outraged.

There are SO many things wrong with this. No students are going to be disciplined because they couldn't find the names of people associated with the league. I find it hard to believe that they can't do a little investigating to find out who was participating. Also, the fact that the principal called the league a "bonding activity" is abhorrent.

So--the girls at this high school have been sexually exploited and shamed (don't get me started on the word 'slut') and the boys who used the girls as a way to get "points" face no repercussions whatsoever?!

We've got to talk about the commodification of women and girls. Little girls are asking their parents to buy them "sexy" clothes, the show Toddlers in Tiaras is a huge hit on cable TV, everywhere you turn there is an ad selling something (perfume, cars, jeans, etc.) but half the time you can hardly tell what the ad is about because it's focused on a partially nude woman, being used to tell the product (yes, i know that half-nude men are used to sell things too but the sexualization of men and boys is not nearly as pervasive as it is for women and girls.)

This issue is even more in our faces during Halloween when girls and women dress as "sexy" versions of nurses, zombies, cats, devils, etc. all for the gratification of men. A perfect example is from the movie Mean Girls:

Educating our children about the sexualization and commodification of girls isn't the sole responsibility of our schools and teachers (notice that the league came to light after a school rally to educate students on date rape, so kudos to the school on that) but the burden rests largely on the shoulders of us as parents to do everything we can to teach our children about such things.

HOWEVER--until the media and society at large recognize this issue, educating our kids will be a long, hard uphill battle.

Organizations doing great work on this issue include Advocates for Human Rights, Hardy Girls Healthy Women,  and True Child.  I encourage you to check them out.

What do you to to talk to your kids about sexualization?

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